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Rihanna Will Testify If Subpoenaed in Chris Brown Case

March 9, 2009 9:55 AM ET

When Chris Brown was charged with two felonies stemming from his February 8th domestic dispute with Rihanna last week, legal experts debated whether Rihanna would take the stand if called upon. The answer, per the 21-year-old singer's own lawyer, is yes.

"At this point, she is willing to do anything that the law requires her to do. If subpoenaed, she will testify," attorney Donald Etra told MTV News. If the case against Brown does go to trial, it seems very likely that Rihanna would be called on to testify, as her first-person account of the attack that left her with what were described as "horrific" injuries is the centerpiece of the district attorney's case. Rihanna would not face jail time or legal consequences if she refused to take the stand, however; the D.A. would mainly rely on crime-scene evidence, photographs from the night of the incident and Rihanna's initial statements in the event she chose not to testify.

It is possible that Brown's case won't see trial, though. As Rolling Stone reported last week, the 19-year-old R&B star's lawyers are reportedly actively seeking a plea bargain before Brown's arraignment on April 6th. TMZ reports that Brown's lawyers say their client would agree to a plea bargain if the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor with no jail time. TMZ writes that Brown's legal team has consulted with experts that argue that because of Rihanna's own aggressiveness in the situation, and the report that Rihanna was first to slap or strike Brown, that Brown's felony charges of assault and making criminal threats should be downgraded to misdemeanors.

Related Stories:

Chris Brown Enters No Plea In Rihanna Assault Case, Arraignment Pushed to April 6th
Chris Brown Charged With Two Felonies In Rihanna Assault Case, Faces Up to Nine Years In Prison
Shocking Photo of Rihanna's "Horrific" Facial Injuries Leaks

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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